I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” While we all know that time is a constant, it definitely is amazing how much faster it seems to go as I get older. It’s been six months since I updated my financial goals. I can’t believe it’s already been 6 months.
A lot has changed in the past six months, but we’ve made significant progress toward our goals and I wanted to give you all an update on our goals. If you don’t remember the goals that I set for myself this past October, here’s a recap.
- Pay for Mrs. 20′s graduate school in CASH
- Max out roth IRA’s in 2013 (2012 are already maxed out)
- Contribute 10% of Gross Income from day jobs to 403(b) accounts
- Invest Extra Cash in Real Estate
- Invest $800 per month in a taxable brokerage account
- Increase net worth by another 50% by October 2013
- Save up 20% down payment for a home (this will probably take us 2-3 years)
Update on Our Financial Goals
1. Pay for Mrs. 20′s graduate school in CASH
Many people may read my blog posts and think that I’m the successful one, but the truth is that my wife is the successful one. She helps me in more ways than I could list here. One of the many ways she amazes me is her rapid progress in her graduate degree. She started her degree program last Spring. It’s been a little over a year and she is just months away from graduating. She is set to finish her degree in December. She did this by taking summer classes, an extra class in January, and much more. The most impressive aspect is that she did this all while working full-time. What this all means financially is that we just paid for her summer term classes. More importantly, we only have one semester left of tuition. The day after the last and final tuition payment will be the day when the heavens open up (and our savings rate increases significantly).
2. Max out Roth IRA’s in 2013 (2012 are already maxed out)
As I mentioned last week, we are still committed to contributing toward our retirement (even though we want to buy a home soon). This is the better financial decision and it will put us in a more secure financial position when we do make the leap into homeownership. With that said, we still have a long ways to go to max out our Roth IRA accounts this year. My side income has struggled this year compared to last year and we had a sizeable tax bill that we just paid. We should make progress on this goal over the next six months.
3. Contribute 10% of Gross Income from day jobs to 403(b) accounts
This goal was originally set before I changed jobs. I had a great employer match at my previous job, even though my salary was sub-par. One of the down sides to my new job is that there isn’t a retirement account (yet). Between this and making a little more money, it makes contributing 10% of gross income more difficult. We are contributing more than the minimum for Mrs. 20s 403(b), but we’re not going to make the 10% goal. I also don’t want to contribute too much so that we can save up enough money for a down payment for our future home, so I’m okay with this for the time being. Once we buy a home, we’ll bump up our retirement contributions again.
4. Invest Extra Cash in Real Estate
Last year we had some extra cash sitting around. I hated the idea of earning less than 1% return on our investment, so we decided to invest in real estate. For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that I’m not a handy man and have little experience with maintaining a home. This means buying a home at this point with this extra cash would be ill-advised. Instead, I chose to go a different route while still investing in real estate. More on this soon, but the simple fact is that we’ve accomplished this goal. I’m excited about the potential returns of the money that we invested.
5. Invest $800 per month in a taxable brokerage account
Things started out well and have slowed down a little bit with how much we have been able to invest in our Fidelity account. We’re still on track to meet this goal by the end of the year, but this is going to be a challenge while also paying for all of the other upcoming expenses and/or savings goals. Stay tuned for more progress updates on this one. This one is going to come down to the wire.
6. Increase net worth by another 50% by October 2013
I’ve learned that this was another ambitious goal. The previous year we succeeded in growing our net worth by well over 50%, but as our net worth grows, the percentage increase becomes harder and harder. With that said, this goal is going to be close too. We’re on track as of right now, but if we are going to bridge the gap in the next six months, we are going to have to make some sacrifices. I’m excited to see how this plays out.
7. Save up 20% down payment for a home (this will probably take us 2-3 years)
Last, but certainly not least, is the monstrous goal of saving up a 20% down payment for our future home. We have some money saved already, but we’re probably only 15-20% of the down payment. In other words, 2-3% of the value of the home. We have a long ways to go, but we’re really excited about not renting for the rest of our lives.
While we haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked, we’ve still come a long way. The great thing about setting goals is that it keeps you accountable. If you haven’t set up financial goals, it’s impossible to have these moments of forcing yourself work harder towards the things that you really want in life.
Readers, what are your financial goals?